ARC
Environment & Tourism - South Africa - UNEP - CBD Secretariat
Africa Weekly
Sustainable Development Guidance Document
Edition 1:12 - Monday, 21 September 2009
Editors Note: Welcome to the twelfth issue of IISD's Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document. The Guidance Document replaces our Linkages Africa newsletter, and we aim to provide this service on a weekly basis. If you should come across a news article or have a submission for the next issue, please send it directly to richards@iisd.org. The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is an exclusive publication of IISD for the AFRICASD-L list and should not be reposted or republished to other lists/websites without the permission of IISD (you can write to Kimo Goree for permission.) If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to subscribe to AFRICASD-L, please visit: http://www.iisd.ca/email/africasd-L.htm
EVENTS IN REVIEW: 3-17 SEPTEMBER 2009
3 September: NEPAD/AU/ECA: Climate Change: “For the first time in its history, Africa will field a single negotiating team empowered to negotiate on behalf of all the member States of the African Union (AU) at the climate change deliberations in Copenhagen,” said the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi at the opening of the Special Session of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) on Africa and climate change. “Africa’s interest and position will not be muffled as has usually been the case when each African country speaks for itself or tries to do so on behalf of Africa without the necessary mandate”, said Zenawi. The special session of the APF, which took place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, aimed to build a coalition around Africa’s immediate concerns and expectations on climate change in order to ensure that they are adequately addressed in a new climate change agreement. [More information] [Zenawi speech]
4 September: UNDP/DRC: More than 1.25 million people have registered to vote in Kinshasa Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the first phase of a countrywide exercise to revise the electoral roll, ahead of local elections scheduled for 2010. “This is a very important step towards democratization in the DRC, coming before the local elections that will help entrench this process within communities,” said Ross Mountain, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and UNDP Resident Representative.
[More information] [Voter registration audio slideshow]
4 September: NEPAD: Our integration into the structures and processes of the African Union (AU) is on track and we are committed to fulfilling our development mandate on the ground”, said Ibrahim Assane Mayaki the Chief Executive Officer of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at the start of the 38th NEPAD Steering Committee session. “This is the first meeting of the Steering Committee since the July decision of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) on the integration of the NEPAD into the AU. And it is encouraging to see the progress made in that regard since that decision”, said Ambassador Newai Gebreab the Chair of the Steering Committee. “We have also made key strides over the past few months in many of our key priority areas. This includes our work on the NEPAD Spanish Fund, capacity building, the Africa Action Plan, the country-level implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and also in the area of Science and Technology”, said Mayaki. In his remarks Mayaki revealed that the NEPAD Spanish Fund which is dedicated towards the empowerment of women in Africa received €50M for the next 5 years from the Spanish Government. [More information]
4 September: EAC: Information and Communication: The East African Community (EAC) is working towards achieving greater visibility within its partner states and beyond through the development and implementation of a five-year Information and Communications Strategy. The EAC Secretariat is seeking consultants to develop and implement the Strategy, running for a five-year period (2010-2015), with key goals that include creating wider awareness of the regional organisation and nurturing positive attitudes towards it in the five partner states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. “The broad aims of the Communications Strategy are to make the EAC more real than abstract; to brand it as a dynamic, people-centered ideal, identity, process and institution for achieving a prosperous, secure and united East Africa, and to ensure that all citizens of the Partner States, their legislative representatives and policy makers, and external stakeholders are aware of this brand, have a positive attitude towards the EAC and are actively engaged in its activities and processes,” says Owora Richard Othieno, the Acting Principal Information and Public Relations Officer of the EAC. [Press release]
7 September: AU/NEPAD/CAADP: “Calls have been made globally for a coherent, consistent and effective mechanism to respond to issues of malnutrition, food insecurity, hunger and poverty in pursuit of MDGs. For Africa, CAADP provides a strategic approach to this call” said Commissioner Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the African Union Commissioner (AUC) for Rural Economy and Agriculture. She was speaking at the start of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Donors and Partners which opened today on Monday the 7th of September 2009, at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This engagement aims to deepen awareness on the CAADP principles and process among key government and donor actors, to identify support to strategic investment areas and to increase action on food security and agricultural development. [Download press release]
8 September: African Group: Trade: The African Group of trade negotiators and experts concluded a two-day meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on 8 September, with a firm commitment to work towards the resolution of the Doha Round of trade negotiations by the end of next year.  However, the group cautioned that even though deadlines are important, the negotiations will remain content driven, rather than time driven. Presenting the conclusions and way forward after the two-day meeting, Mohamed Abulkheir, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, said: “concluding the Round should not come at the expense of its developmental components.  Development outcomes in each of the negotiations tracks remain the raison d’être of the Doha Round.” Egypt is currently the coordinator of the African Group to the WTO in Geneva.  Abulkheir also expressed the Group’s concerns that no significant progress has been made in key areas of interest to Africa, including the Cotton issue, negotiations on agriculture and non-agricultural market access, services and trade facilitation. [More information]
9 September: UNEP/Kenya: A multimillion dollar appeal to save the Mau Forests Complex has been launched by the Government of Kenya at a Partners Forum hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The appeal aims to mobilize resources for the rehabilitation of the Mau, the largest closed-canopy forest ecosystem in Kenya covering over 400,000 hectares - the size of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares combined. The strategic importance of the Mau Forest lies in the ecosystem services it provides to Kenya and the region, including river flow regulation, flood mitigation, water storage, reduced soil erosion, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, carbon reservoir and microclimate regulation. UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “the Mau Complex is of critical importance for sustaining current and future ecological, social and economic development in Kenya. The rehabilitation of the ecosystem will require substantial resources and political goodwill. UNEP is privileged to work in partnership with the Government of Kenya towards the implementation of this vital project.” [Press release]
10 September: NEPAD/FAO: The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) met last week to review their collaboration and partnership with regard to the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NEPAD, kick-started the meeting by briefing the FAO delegation, led by Maria Helena Semedo, Assistant Director-General/Regional Representative for Africa, on the new mandate of NEPAD as the African Union agency for project development and implementation. In this context, Mayaki informed the delegation that the integration of NEPAD into the structures and processes of the African Union in accordance with the decisions of the 21st Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC), held in Sirte-Libya, was on track. He noted that the advent of this new mandate provides an opportune time for NEPAD and FAO to review their partnership with a view to strengthening it, particularly in the areas of policy and strategy formulation, evidence-based food security analysis, technical assistance and the broader support towards country-level CAADP implementation. [More information]
15 September: World Bank: Climate Change/Economic Growth: Even as it is becoming evident that Africa holds the potential to be a dynamic growth pole in the rapidly evolving world economy, the region needs to urgently tackle increased climate variability and temperature increases to maintain its performance and preserve recent gains, says a recently released World Bank report. The World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change, released in advance of the December meetings on climate change in Copenhagen, cites evidence that global warming of 2oC above pre-industrial temperatures could result in permanent reductions in annual per capita consumption of 4-5% in Africa. The authors call for immediate action to ensure that Africa’s prospects are not compromised by climate variability and climate change. “Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionately affected by climate change,” said Marianne Fay, co-director of the report and Chief Economist for Sustainable Development at the World Bank. “They need scaled-up financial and technological support to help vulnerable people adapt to climate change, while also meeting urgent energy needs.”
[More information] [World development report 2010]
15 September: IFAD: Rural Poverty: Poor farmers seeking to better their lives against the backdrop of climate change received a boost this week. During its two-day meeting here, the Executive Board of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) approved more than US$161.56 million in loans and US$56.26 million in grants – many of them for projects helping smallholder farmers adapt to a changing climate and contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These include projects to: enable Chad’s water network to support the seasonal movement of shepherds and livestock, encourage small-scale water resources management to increase yields in Bangladesh and strengthen water harvesting and soil conservation measures in Lebanon. The Board also approved $3.35 million in grants to international research centres and intergovernmental organizations. [More information]
15 September: AfDB/Microsoft: A Microsoft delegation concluded a two-day working visit to the Bank Group. The visit served as an opportunity for both parties to agree on concrete areas of cooperation on ICT in the fields of health, education, public administration and governance. Countries targeted include Nigeria, Senegal, Angola and Kenya. [More information]
17 September: AfDB/West Africa: Emerging Market Fund: The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 in Tunis approved a US$10 million investment in the West Africa Emerging Market Fund (WAEMF). The investment makes the AfDB one of the lead investors in the Fund, at par with the CDC (Commonwealth Development Corporation) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).  The Fund targets the SME market and thus helps support non-public companies that demonstrate high-growth potential, including in the financial services and infrastructure sectors. The Fund will thus also contribute to government efforts to boost employment opportunities, increase GDP, and reduce poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals. [More information]

REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS
September: German Advisory Council on Global Change: Solving the climate dilemma: The budget approach
2009: Bangkok Assessment Report on Climate Change [Read here]

ANNOUNCEMENTS
UNEP: Champions of the Earth 2010: Nominations are now open for the 6th cycle of UNEP's Champions of the Earth, with awards in four categories: Policy Leadership, Science & Innovation, Entrepreneurial Vision, and Inspiration & Action. For the 2010 edition, UNEP has partnered with LG Electronics to recognize each Champion with a cash prize of US$40,000 in each category. The Champions of the Earth award was created by UNEP in 2004 to honour individuals and groups who have made a significant and recognized contribution, regionally or beyond, to the protection and sustainable management of the Earth's environment and natural resources. The deadline for nominations is 31 October 2009. [More information] [Nomination form]
United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD): Voting for CSO representatives to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board has now begun. Civil society organizations are encouraged to participate in the self-selection process for four CSO observers to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board.  The deadline for nomination of candidates has past, and voting is now open. [More information]

UPCOMING MEETINGS
21-25 September: Global Climate Week, Worldwide. [More information] 
21 September- 2 October: Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP 9), Buenos Aires, Argentina. [More information]
22-27: 2nd Africa-South America (ASA) Summit of Heads of State and Government, Margarita Island, Venezuela. [More information]
24-26 September: Sixteenth meeting of the Least Developed Countries Expert group (UNFCCC), Bangkok, Thailand.
[More information]
28 September- 9 October: Ninth session of the AWG-KP and seventh session of the AWG-LCA, Bangkok, Thailand.
[More information]  
28-30 September: 13th Meeting of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD), Cairo, Egypt.
[More information]
12-13 October: High-level Experts Forum on How to the Feed the World in 2050, Rome, Italy. [More information]
18-25 October: Thirteenth World Forestry Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [More information]
19-23 October: LDC Workshop on Implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action, Dar-es- Salaam. [More information]
10-11 November: Fourth International Conference of the Egyptian Society for Environmental Sciences: impacts of climate change on natural resources, Ismailia, Egypt. [More information]
16-18 November: World Summit on Food Security, Rome, Italy. [More information]
The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was compiled and edited by Tallash Kantai and Richard Sherman. The Guidance Document is part of IISD Reporting Service’s African Regional Coverage (ARC) Project in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Programme Manager of the African Regional Coverage Project is Richard Sherman <rsherman@iisd.org>. Funding for the Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document has been provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, through the African Regional Coverage Project for IISD Reporting Service’s coverage of African regional meetings. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Guidance Document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Electronic versions of the Guidance Document are sent to the electronic distribution list (in HTML format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/africa/>. For information on the ARC, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, US.
| Back to ARC home | Back to IISD RS “Linkages” home | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to IISD RS |
© 2009, IISD. All rights reserved.